Much of the attention is focused on Pennsylvania liquor privatization or modernization.
But a bill written by state Rep. Curt Sonney, of Harborcreek, that would help state wineries has overwhelmingly passed the House.
The legislation would allow direct shipment of out-of-state wines to Pennsylvania homes. But it also would allow Pennsylvania wineries to directly ship to homes of out-of-state residents, provided those states have reciprocal shipping agreements, said Scott Little, a spokesman for Sonney, R-4th Dist.
The bill now will be taken up by the Senate.
“Pennsylvania remains one of 17 states that continues to ban direct shipments,” Sonney said in a statement. “It’s time to move our liquor laws into the 21st century and give Pennsylvania wine consumers the same access to the marketplace that the majority of their counterparts in other states enjoy.”
The legislation would allow the shipment of wine to Pennsylvania residents by out-of-state wineries that get a direct wine shipper license. An unlimited amount of wine then could be shipped directly to any Pennsylvania resident who is at least 21, for personal use only.
Current law allows for online purchases from wineries to be delivered to a state liquor store, and limits how much and the types of wines that can be bought.
“My bill removes all of those restrictions, expands consumer opportunities and provides for more convenience in the buying process,” Sonney said. “We also removed the ability of the LCB to charge a 30 percent markup on special liquor orders when the store does not carry a particular product.”
Questions about the bill or other issues can be directed to Sonney’s Corry office at (814) 664-9126, or his Harborcreek office at (814) 897-2080.
– John Guerriero